There has been a great fear that many African countries might not vaccinate their populations by end of 2021 and some fearing that the poor population might not be vaccinated till 2022 or 2023.
However, World Health Organization said on Thursday at least 20 percent of the continent can expect to be immunised against coronavirus by the end of 2021.
So far though, very few on the continent have been vaccinated against COVID-19, which is a stark difference when compared to richer nations, as African countries lack the financial means to purchase the drugs.
“The (vaccination) objective is to reach 20 percent, at least, to cover 20 percent of the population by the end of the year, and I might say that with the latest developments within the Covax facility, there is a very very good prospect that this objective to supply up to 600 million doses by the end of 2021 will definitely be reached,” said Richard Mihigo, WHO immunization coordinator.
The vaccination process couldn’t have come at a better time as there has been a new coronavirus variant that continues to spread through Africa.
“So far, six African countries and areas have confirmed cases of this variant (SA -ed), including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mayotte, and Zambia. Beyond Africa, the variant has been confirmed in 24 countries globally, and there’s concern it is circulating in other countries in Africa as yet undetected,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.
How Much is needed for vaccination for Africa?
It is estimated the continent will need 1.5 billion vaccine doses to immunise 60 percent of its population, costing between $7 and $10 billion.
Morocco, Egypt, Seychelles and Guinea have already begun vaccinations. With Rwanda also expecting its first consignment to begin the vaccination process. Algeria is expecting to begin its process of vaccination on Saturday.
During the virtual 2021 World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday, SA President Cyril Ramaphosa slammed “vaccine nationalism,” accusing rich countries of bulk-buying vaccines and hoarding them to the detriment of others.
The continent has reported less coronavirus infections and deaths than the Americas and Europe.
According to the CDC on the continent, over 3.4 million cases of Covid-19 and 87,000 deaths have been recorded since the pandemic begun.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.